Which Type of Furnace Filter Is Right For You?

Anyone who resides in a climate that is overburdened understands how important your home furnace is. Maintaining your furnace running in its most efficient skill is important to not only your heating bills but also so the life of your furnace isn’t shortened by having to work harder than it ought to.

A furnace circulates the air inside your house through ingestion, passes it through the furnace filter to remove dust particles and impurities, heats the filtered air and then sends it out through the respective vents throughout your home. 

The furnace filter is also an important part of the heating of your home and needing to change this filter on a regular basis can be detrimental to your furnace. Fortunately, changing your furnace filter is a simple task which can be done by the least handy homeowner.

A dirty furnace filter doesn’t capture as many dust particles circulating through your house as a sterile filter will. This can be particularly bothersome for those who suffer from asthma or allergies. A dirty furnace filter will also reduce the energy efficiency of your furnace, causing higher bills and possible costly repairs. In some cases, not maintaining your furnace filters may lead to dangerous conditions including house fires because the clogged filter doesn’t let enough air through.

In regularly changing your furnace filter you may save money, improve air quality and protect the moving parts of your furnace itself.

Furnace filters are ranked on a scale known as the Minimum Efficiency Reporting Values scale (MERV), an efficiency score from 1-20, but most residential filters just go up to approximately a 12 on the MERV scale. A lower MERV rating means lower efficacy from the filter. SSIHVAC | Heating Furnace Repair | Air Conditioning Service Company

When picking a furnace filter, you need to think about the kind of furnace that you have, the amount of money you want to invest in maintenance, and how frequently you would like to change your filter.

Disposable Fiberglass

The cheapest, and probably least effective, furnace filter option is the disposable fiberglass filter. With a MERV rating of 2-3 plus a price typically under $2 percent, this filter is about 1-inch thick of spun fiberglass. It may trap larger dust particles, lint, and debris from clogging your furnace but doesn’t filter out smaller things by getting through. These filters are good for renters or those who don’t have asthma or allergies.

Disposable Pleated

A favorite filter since they’re relatively inexpensive and provide more filtering abilities compared to fiberglass version, at a cost of $4 to $5 each, with a MERV rating of 6. These are assembled from polyester or cotton paper and will catch particles such as fleas and fleas. These filters are thicker, therefore add greater resistance to air flow and need to be changed often so they do not clog or tax your furnace system, making it less effective and more expensive to operate.

Disposable Electrostatic

These filters contain self-charging electrostatic cotton of paper fibers that attract and trap small particles like hair. A MERV rating of 10 plus a price of approximately $10 each makes them middle-of-the-road in efficacy and pricing compared to other filter options. Great for homes with smokers and pets, these are great for conventional sized furnace filters, but if your furnace wants a custom size, the price can be high if you keep regularly replacing them as needed.

Permanent Electrostatic

A somewhat deceiving name, the permanent electrostatic filter is similar to the disposable counterpart, however, a removable, machine-washable center filter may be cleaned and re-used for six to eight decades. This is a green option. The MERV rating is 8 and the price is $15-$20, which is very affordable considering its own lifespan.

High-Efficiency Pleated

Perhaps the bar-setting conventional of furnace filters, this offers a high MERV score (14-16), and on account of this thick size can simply be installed in specific housing. Costing roughly $100 annually, these filters are created from 4-5″ pleated synthetic cotton attached to a metal grid. Due to the high quality of filtration, these are very popular in hospitals, and also for people who have autoimmune or respiratory issues.

The most obvious rating for furnaces is the one assigned by the Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency. This evaluation basically looks at the percentage of the heat generated for every dollar’s worth of gasoline your furnace customers. Today, all furnaces need to be at least 78% efficient, meaning that 78 percent of the fuel that is absorbed by your furnace actually goes to warm your house.

Obviously, then, the higher the AFUE rating of the furnace you opt for, the more money the furnace will save. If you purchase an 80% efficient furnace, then you are going to lose 20% of your fuel costs into vacant space, and if you purchase a 90% efficient furnace, then you’ll just waste 10% of your energy costs. Chances are likely that a furnace that is more than a decade old will probably be losing you more than 20% of your energy costs, therefore a new high-efficiency furnace can save a lot of money.

While a furnace’s evaluation is actually important, it isn’t the only important thing that you should think about when selecting a furnace. For example, furnaces consume not only oil or natural gas but also power, which conducts their motors and fans. Various furnaces will have unique amounts of electricity, so purchasing a furnace that’s not just effective with your gas or oil but also with your electricity can save you money on your energy bills.